Website Dubs Bernal Heights “Lesbian-landia”

The wags over at The Bold Italic have taken it upon themselves to create a summary of San Francisco’s neighborhoods intended for newcomers to Our Faire City who are trying to figure out where to live.

The write-ups about each ‘hood are kind of insightful, sometimes funny, and perhaps even useful for the intended audience of wannabe San Franciscans. But they’re also calibrated to provoke sneers from those who already live here, and the blurb for Bernal Heights is no exception.

Here is the complete Bernal Heights text:

Bernal Heights is right next door to The Mission and Noe Valley. It is one of the last possible places you can move before you don’t live in San Francisco anymore. And there are tons of lovely, kind lesbians. If you’re just moving here, this is sort of like taking a grad course before you’ve finished undergrad: not yet, grasshopper.

Main Attractions: Nice lesbians. Tons of free parking.

Hmmm. A bit trite, perhaps. Also inaccurate and misleading. Yeah yeah lesbians. Sure. But “tons of free parking?” Seriously?

IMAGE: The Bold Italic

Parking Wisdom: Mind Your Bumpers and the Curb Cuts

Stencils of Doom

Our fashion-obsessed friends at 7×7 recently published some useful information about San Francisco parking regulations that may be of interest to the residents of our parking-challenged neighborhood.

Specifically, the question has to do with how close to a driveway “curb-cut” can you park without getting a ticket. The short answer is to avoid the sloping parts of the curb cut. The longer answer goes something like this:

“My bumper was in the part of the curb that curves down into the driveway.” It would make sense that you thought of the sloped portion of the curb as being part of the curb, because it is part of the curb. You are correct, and the best argument you could make would be: when the curb was constructed, that’s when that sloped part was made. It was not part of the driveway construction, it was part of the curb construction. So, you did not, by definition, block a driveway.  This argument, as logical as it is, may be worth a shot, but to win, it would mean overturning the law, because I am sorry to tell you my friend, the sloped part of the curb, or the “curb cut” as SFMTA calls it, is actually legally considered to be part of the driveway.

One thing I’ve learned in this life is that the law isn’t always so logical…or maybe it is. Maybe there is some wisdom in making that sloped part of the curb legally part of the driveway. I would bet that when they were making the law, some engineer considered this: In order to turn into a narrow driveway, your front car wheel must be just on the outer edge of your driveway when turning into it so that your back wheels can make it in too. And if your front wheel is just at that very edge, the fender and bumper are going to go into and over the space in question and hit another car if it is parked in that space. I think that’s the reasoning, but only those in that situation would ever have thought of it. And that’s why there were 28,277 of these citations handed out last year.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Paul Revere Principal Pleads Not Guilty in DUI

Here’s an update from the San Francisco Examiner on Shelia Milosky, the principal at Paul Revere School, who was arrested recently and charged with a DUI hit and run:

The principal at Paul Revere Elementary School in Bernal Heights pleaded not guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor DUI and hit-and-run charges after allegedly sideswiping two vehicles just south of the Golden Gate Bridge on May 12.

Sheila Milosky, a Mill Valley resident, did not attend Tuesday’s court hearing. Her attorney, Sam Ware, appeared on her behalf.

“If Ms. Milosky made a mistake here, she’s going to own up to it,” Ware said after the hearing, adding that he had only just received the prosecution’s evidence against his client. “If she did not make a mistake and some of the facts were not reported correctly, then we’re going to dispute it.”

PHOTO: Shelia Milosky via San Francisco Examiner file photo

Merchant vs. Merchant on Precita Park

Recent visitors to the Harvest Hills Market on the southwest corner of Precita Park may have noticed an odd sign in the window.

The sign shows a picture of Charlie, the vintage tuna mascot, along with Starkist’s venerable motto, “Sorry Charlie.” The text then goes on to explain that Harvest Hills no longer sells produce to “some local cafe owners and store owners,” to ensure that nearby merchants do not buy-out Harvest Hills’s inventory of low-priced produce.

Of course, the Starkist allusion can only be a reference to Charlie’s Cafe, located just a few doors north on Folsom Street. It would appear there are some unresolved issues between the two merchants. We suspect it isn’t only about produce sales.


Neighbor Dan wrote to Bernalwood with this comment:

Not sure if you’ve heard about the ongoing feud between Harvest Hills and Charlies, but it appears to have gotten worse, judging from the pictured sign that was posted recently to the store window. It confirms what Charlie has told me, namely that Harvest Hills employees are refusing to sell produce to employees of Charlies Cafe.

I should start off by saying I probably don’t have all the facts. That means it’s possible Harvest Hills has good reasons for turning away Charlies’ employees when they want to purchase bananas or onions. And even if Harvest Hills doesn’t have a good reason, the store owners are probably well within their rights to decide who they do business with. That said, Charlie tells me he’s attempted to buy food fewer than 15 times in the two years that Harvest Hills has been in business, and then only when food he purchased ahead of time has run out or unexpectedly gone bad. If true, that doesn’t sound like Charlie’s is “buying all of one or two produce products that we have.”

Harvest Hills should know that when I (a customer of both establishments) can’t get avocado on my sandwich because the batch Charlie purchased earlier that morning went bad, the refusal to sell Charlie a single avocado affects me negatively. So forgive me if I don’t buy the notion that Harvest Hills is putting its customers first. More to the point, the “Sorry Charlie” title and image seem unnecessarily rude. Is this really the way fellow business people should treat each other?

An Anonymous Bernal Tuna harpooned a metaphor to make a larger point:

I’ve heard it all before.  Chicken of the Sea.  I always wanted to be that; sure, who didn’t?  Have your bulging salmon torso spinning out of control, like a marlin on a can of tuna.  Now I’ve accepted myself for who I am, a scrawny tuna.  I lead a pretty quiet existence now, swimming up a private stream near Precita Park.  While munching on some flies yesterday, I  overhead some humans chatting about the sign at the Harvest Hills Market that said “Sorry Charlie”.   It brought up all that stuff up again – too thin, too small, not pink enough, eyes too wide-set like a halibut.  I pooped so damn much in the stream even the frogs stopped croaking.  So, can I just ask just once, “Can we all try to get along?”

As a factual matter, Bernalwood will merely add that Harvest Hills does indeed have low prices on high-quality produce. Two examples caught our eye last weekend: sugar snap peas for $1.25 a pound, and fresh shitake mushrooms for $2.95 a pound. Get ’em while they last.

UPDATE: Neighbors report that the Sorry Charlie signs have now been removed from the windows of Harvest Hills

UPDATE 2: In the comments, a reader directs us to some backstory on the controversy, which has also spilled out onto Yelp.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Condition Brown: Important Seasonal Transition Announcement

Green Fades to Brown

This is an advisory from the Bernal Heights Seasonal Transition Monitoring Group.

Following a routine chromatic analysis of Bernal Hill conducted last Saturday, Bernalwood scientists have concluded that our neighborhood will soon complete its annual transit from Wet Mode into Dry Mode.

As you can see in Exhibit A (shown above), while a few patches of aquagenic greenness remain, most of Bernal Hill has already been overtaken by the onset of aridity-induced brown. If present trends continue, the Brown Transition is expected to resolve itself within the next 10 to 14 days.

Do not be alarmed. The onset of Brown is a routine cyclical event, and Green Season is expected to return sometime around mid-November. Keep calm. Carry on. That is all.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Re-Create the Excitement of GGB75 (Without Leaving Bernal)

As you might have heard, the Golden Gate Bridge celebrated its 75th anniversary last weekend. Woo-hoo!

Naturally, much of the celebration took place close to the bridge, in the area around Crissy Field. But from our exalted heights here in Bernal, it was possible to take in some of the special events without having to combat all the crowds and congestion along the waterfront.

If you happened to wander up Bernal Hill on Sunday, you might have noticed an unusual ship moored to the east, out on the Bay:

USS Nimitz

It’s the USS Nimitz, a Navy aircraft carrier that made a special cameo appearance in San Francisco to participate in GGB75. As you can see above, the big ship made a fine addition to Bernal Hill’s standard panorama, while reminding us all of decades past, when many Bernal Heights residents worked at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard over in Hunter’s Point.

Of course, the big fireworks show was the highlight of the GGB75 celebration. It took place right around bedtime for Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter, so we stayed inside our North Slope home to watch the colorful clouds of glowing smoke and occasional high-altitude air burst from the safety and comfort of the Cub Reporter’s bedroom. Lucky kid — her room has the best views in the house.

I’m sure the views were even better from atop Bernal Hill, but in case you missed that too, here’s the next best thing: a professionally produced video of the entire fireworks spectacle, complete with the musical soundtrack:

PHOTOS: Top, cellphone pic of GGB fireworks from Bernal Hill, by valjoy9. USS Nimitz by Telstar Logistics